Criminology & Criminal Justice

The Social Science of Crime & Punishment

Are you a Criminology & Criminal Justice major? Well you should be! Your degree is a front-row ticket for exploring complexities of the world that prove challenging for governments, social scientists and citizens. The particular vantage points from which you will observe the world in your professional careers will also provide you special opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals and the communities you serve.  From the CCJ faculty, you will learn that the complexities of modern social life are often more deeply-rooted, historical, and nuanced than is ever captured by headlines or simplistic punishment formulas. What are the larger social patterns behind crime and punishment? What issues of economics, social exclusion, gender socialization, family breakdown or education failure also trend closely with high rates of local violence?  Welcome to the applied social science of Criminology & Criminal Justice! Join us to learn more. Every day, the Criminology and Criminal Justice faculty is engaged with justice agencies, officials and stakeholders directly involved in policy making while conducting original peer-reviewed scientific research. The Department prides itself on offering “scholarship with immersion,” offering students one of the largest justice internship programs in the United States. Our mission is to provide students the intellectual tools they need for success while empowering students with research skills necessary for critical thinking. Our top priority is to help students succeed.  


Our Mission

The Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice seeks to provide its students with the theoretical, practical and ethical foundations necessary for understanding crime and the criminal justice system in its social context. The faculty is committed to excellence through development of focused and relevant scholarship.


Through excellence in research and teaching in the areas of law creation, crime and deviance, and societal response to law violation, students develop a greater understanding of social control and its dynamic processes. Participation in research and internships assures relevance to current practice and further prepares students to apply their knowledge in the field, to conduct critical analyses of the system, and to undertake policy development and implementation.


Students at the graduate level receive advanced instruction in research design and theory, helping students focus their skills for direct employment or more advanced studies. Rigorous commitment to peer-review and collegiality help assure that an ethic of continuous-improvement and self-reflection govern all departmental processes.